[VOY] Distant Origin

[VOY] Season 3, Episode 23: Distant Origin

distant originsRating: 3

It’s kinda hard to suspend disbelief about the dinosaurs-escaping-earth scenario, which is really saying something when watching Star Trek. The episode gets some pretty good mileage out of the idea, at least in plotting and entertainment value. The nearly allegorical take on anti-science zealotry is kinda painful, though.

Read more at Memory Alpha

Notes:

A lizard guy is digging through the cave from "Basics." He finds the remains of the Voyager guy that was killed

A lizard guy is digging through the cave from “Basics.” He finds the remains of the Voyager guy that was killed.

They think that their species are originally from Earth, and are related to humans.

They think that their species are originally from Earth, and are related to humans.

The the authorities don't like this theory

The authorities don’t like this theory.

They need more evidence so they try to find Voyager. One of the things I really like about this episode is the way it takes on the perspective of outsiders who are tracking and observing Voyager

They need more evidence so they try to find Voyager. One of the things I really like about this episode is the way it takes on the perspective of outsiders who are tracking and observing Voyager.

They have personal cloaking devices so that they can safely watch Tom and B'Elanna flirt with each other

They have personal cloaking devices so that they can safely watch Tom and B’Elanna flirt with each other.

But then Voyager starts to detect them

But then Voyager starts to detect them.

They apprehend one of the lizard guys, but he goes to sleep.

They apprehend one of the lizard guys, but he goes to sleep so he doesn’t have to talk with them.

But the lizard guy that got away took Chakotay with him. He talks to him about the sitution with the authorities, and asks if Chakotay will go with him as evidence

But the lizard guy that got away took Chakotay with him. He talks to him about the situation with the authorities, and asks if Chakotay will go with him as evidence.

On Voyager they figure out that they are in fact related, and that these guys used to be dinosaurs. The computer is able to extrapolate what dinosaurs would've looked like if they continued to evolve. It's the second time in Voyager they act like evolution has a set course, and that it doesn't have to do with the environment

On Voyager they figure out that they are in fact related, and that these guys used to be dinosaurs. The computer is able to extrapolate what dinosaurs would’ve looked like if they continued to evolve. It’s the second time in Voyager they act like evolution has a set course, and that it doesn’t have to do with the environment.

They figure out that some dinosaurs lived on a part of Earth that was mostly destroyed, but they managed to trek out into space to escape. For some reason they went all the way to the delta quadrant rather than any of the closer M-class planets

They figure out that some dinosaurs lived on a part of Earth that was mostly destroyed, but they managed to trek out into space to escape. For some reason they went all the way to the delta quadrant rather than any of the closer M-class planets.

Tuvok and Paris mess around with the personal cloaking device. At first I thought this was going to be like the Doctor's mobile emitter, and that it would be used in the future. That could've been pretty cool, but we never see it again.

Tuvok and Paris mess around with the personal cloaking device. At first I thought this was going to be like the Doctor’s mobile emitter, and that it would be used in the future. That could’ve been pretty cool, but we never see it again. Maybe once they made the apple cloak, they couldn’t find it again.

The authorities track down Voyager

The authorities track down Voyager in search of the two scientists.

They put the scientist on trial, and they try to get him to refute his theories. Chakotay gives a speech in his defense

They put the scientist on trial, and they try to get him to refute his theories. Chakotay gives a speech in his defense.

But the authorities say that they'll imprison everyone on Voyager if he doesn't recant his work

But the authorities say that they’ll imprison everyone on Voyager if he doesn’t recant his work.

"Alright, fine, jk about the earth-home-world stuff"  (Paraphrasing)

“Alright, fine, jk about the earth-home-world stuff”
(paraphrasing)

 

Further Analysis:

There was a lot of interesting stuff on the memory-alpha page for this episode. The two guys who were credited with writing this episode (Brannon Braga and Joe Menosky) basically wanted an action episode with dinosaurs. It was Rick Berman who suggested it be more about the dinosaurs’ scientific research involving Voyager, and a rehashing of the Galileo folk-tale. It seems like the story ended up being almost entirely Rick Berman’s ideas, with basically only the dinosaur thing remaining from the original concept. Yet Rick Berman doesn’t get any writing credit? I guess I don’t understand the way credit works for TV.

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  • Harry Callahan

    One of the most overtly anti-religion episodes in all trek-dom.